How to Get the Most Out of Google Drive for Android

You may already be aware how to get the most out of Google Drive on your computer. But what about using Google Drive to the fullest on your Android device?

Since our phones are always on and ready, it’s also good to know how to maximize Google Drive usage on your Android device. The following tips will help you get things done faster on your phone.

How to Install Google Sheets and Docs without Going to the Play Store

Everyone knows that if you want to install a Google app, you have to go to Google Play. If you don’t already have the apps installed on your phone, there’s a way to install them without having to go to the Play Store.


Tap on the blue button at the bottom-right corner and the options for Google Sheets and Docs will appear. Tap on either one, and you should see the “Get Sheets” option. Tap on it and Google Drive will automatically connect to Google Play to install the app.

Back Up Your Android Device to Google Drive

You never know when you might damage your Android device beyond repair. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a backupĀ of all your data. You can back up your data to Google Drive by going to “Settings -> Backup & reset > turn on Backup my data.” Make sure the automatic restore is “ON” as well.


Do note that even if you did not install Google Drive on your phone, Google will still back up your phone data (if you allowed it to) to your Google Drive account.

Use Google Drive’s Integrated Scanner

If you just want to use the essential features of a scanner, there’s no need to install yet another app on your phone.

1. Open Google Drive and tap on the plus sign at the bottom right.

2. Select Scan and the scanner will automatically open.


If you made a mistake and needed to re-scan, just tap on the “Refresh” button in the middle. If not, tap on the checkmark to continue, and your scan will be saved as a PDF on your Google Drive account.

How to Add a Folder Shortcut to Your Android’s Home Screen

If you are an active user of Google Drive, you’ll probably have a lot of files and folders in Drive. In Android you can add a folder shortcut to your home screen for quick access.


You can quickly do this by going to the file you want to create a shortcut for, and tap the three-dots icon beside it. Swipe down until you see the option to add a shortcut to that folder on your Android’s home screen.

Open Drive File in Another App

When you open a file in Drive, it’s obviously going to open within Drive. To open a file in another app, tap on the three-dots icon and select “Open with.” The options you get will depend on the type of file you’re opening.


If you’re opening a picture, you’ll only see options such as gallery and other picture apps you have on your phone. If it’s a document, you’ll see options such as PDF Viewer and other similar ones.

View Recent Google Drive Activity

If you work with various people on a document, knowing who did what is a plus. To see what user did something and at what time, go to your Drive’s main page. Tap on the three vertical dots and tap on “Details.” The following page will show you everything you need to know.



Using Google Drive on your desktop has its own set of tricks. Using it on your Android device also has its own experience as well. Did we miss a method you use on Google Drive for Android? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Fabio Buckell

Just a simple guy that can't enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I'm a Pizza addict as well.

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